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Marsh fly (Sciomyzidae)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Diptera
Section: Schizophora
Subsection: Acalyptratae



The Acalyptratae or Acalyptrata are a subsection of the Schizophora, which are a section of the order Diptera, the "true flies". In various contexts the Acalyptratae also are referred to informally as the acalyptrate muscoids , or acalyptrates, as opposed to the Calyptratae. All forms of the name refer to the lack of calypters in the members of this subsection of flies. An alternative name, Acalypterae is current, though in minority usage. It was first used by Pierre-Justin-Marie Macquart in 1835 for a section of his tribe Muscides; he used it to refer to all acalyptrates plus scathophagids and phorids, but excluding Conopidae.

The confusing forms of the names stem from their first usage; Acalyptratae and Acalyptrata actually are adjectival forms in New Latin. They were coined in the mid 19th century in contexts such as "Muscae Calyptratae and Acalyptratae" and "Diptera Acalyptrata", and the forms stuck. [1]

The Acalyptratae are a large assemblage, exhibiting very diverse habits, with one notable and perhaps surprising exception: no known acalyptrates are obligate blood-feeders (hematophagous), though blood feeding at various stages of the life history is common throughout other Dipteran sections.


Related Research Articles

Sciomyzidae Family of flies

The family Sciomyzidae belongs to the typical flies (Brachycera) of the order Diptera. They are commonly called marsh flies, and in some cases snail-killing flies due to the food of their larvae.


The Schizophora are a section of true flies containing 78 families, which are collectively referred to as muscoids, although technically the term "muscoid" should be limited to flies in the superfamily Muscoidea; this is an example of informal, historical usage persisting in the vernacular. The section is divided into two subsections, the Acalyptratae and Calyptratae, which are commonly referred to as acalyptrate muscoids and calyptrate muscoids, respectively.


Calyptratae is a subsection of Schizophora in the insect order Diptera, commonly referred to as the calyptrate muscoids. It consists of those flies which possess a calypter that covers the halteres, among which are some of the most familiar of all flies, such as the house fly.

Hippoboscoidea Superfamily of flies

Hippoboscoidea is a superfamily of the Calyptratae. The flies in this superfamily are blood-feeding obligate parasites of their hosts. Four families are often placed here:

Horse-fly Family of insects

Horse-flies or horseflies are true flies in the family Tabanidae in the insect order Diptera. They are often large and agile in flight, and the females bite animals, including humans, to obtain blood. They prefer to fly in sunlight, avoiding dark and shady areas, and are inactive at night. They are found all over the world except for some islands and the polar regions. Both horse-flies and botflies (Oestridae) are sometimes referred to as gadflies.

Conopidae Family of flies

The Conopidae, usually known as the thick-headed flies, are a family of flies within the Brachycera suborder of Diptera, and the sole member of the superfamily Conopoidea. Flies of the family Conopidae are distributed worldwide in all the biogeographic realms except for the poles and many of the Pacific islands. About 800 species in 47 genera are described worldwide, about 70 of which are found in North America. The majority of conopids are black and yellow, or black and white, and often strikingly resemble wasps, bees, or flies of the family Syrphidae, themselves notable bee mimics. A conopid is most frequently found at flowers, feeding on nectar with its proboscis, which is often long.

Therevidae Family of flies

The Therevidae are a family of flies of the superfamily Asiloidea commonly known as stiletto flies. The family contains about 1,600 described species worldwide, most diverse in arid and semiarid regions with sandy soils. The larvae are predators of insect larvae in soil.


The Brachyceran infraorder Muscomorpha is a large and diverse group of flies, containing the bulk of the Brachycera, and, most of the known flies. It includes a number of the most familiar flies, such as the housefly, the fruit fly, and the blow fly. The antennae are short, usually three-segmented, with a dorsal arista. Their bodies are often highly setose, and the pattern of setae is often taxonomically important.

Clusiidae Family of flies

Clusiidae or "druid flies" is a family of small, thin, yellow to black acalyptrate flies with a characteristic antenna and with the wing usually partially infuscated. They have a cylindrical body. The head is round, the vertical plate reaches the anterior margin of the frons and the vibrissae on the head are large. The costa is interrupted near subcosta and the latter developed throughout length. Larvae are found in the bark of trees, the flies on trunks. The larvae are notable for their ability to jump. Males of many species in the subfamily Clusiodinae have been observed while engaged in lekking behaviour. There are hundreds of species in 14 genera found in all the Ecoregions, although most species occur in tropical regions. The type genus is Clusia Haliday, 1838.

Coelopidae Family of flies

The Coelopidae or kelp flies are a family of Acalyptratae flies, they are sometimes also called seaweed flies, though both terms are used for a number of seashore Diptera. Fewer than 40 species occur worldwide. The family is found in temperate areas, with species occurring in the southern Afrotropical, Holarctic, and Australasian regions.

Milichiidae Family of flies

Milichiidae are a family of flies. Most species are very small and dark. Details of their biology have not yet been properly studied, but they are best known as kleptoparasites of predatory invertebrates, and accordingly are commonly known as freeloader flies or jackal flies. However, because of the conditions under which many species breed out, they also are known as filth flies.

Platystomatidae Family of flies

The Platystomatidae are a distinctive family of flies (Diptera) in the superfamily Tephritoidea.

Celyphidae Family of flies

The Celyphidae, commonly known as beetle flies or beetle-backed flies, are a family of flies. About 115 species in about 9 genera are known chiefly from the Oriental and Afrotropic biogeographic regions with one lineage in the New World.

Aboriginal Australian kinship comprises the systems of Aboriginal customary law governing social interaction relating to kinship in traditional Aboriginal cultures. It is an integral part of the culture of every Aboriginal group across Australia, and particularly important with regard to marriages between Aboriginal people.

The Diptera is a very large and diverse order of mostly small to medium-sized insects. They have prominent compound eyes on a mobile head, and one pair of functional, membraneous wings, which are attached to a complex mesothorax. The second pair of wings, on the metathorax, are reduced to halteres. The order's fundamental peculiarity is its remarkable specialization in terms of wing shape and the morpho-anatomical adaptation of the thorax – features which lend particular agility to its flying forms. The filiform, stylate or aristate antennae correlate with the Nematocera, Brachycera and Cyclorrhapha taxa respectively. It displays substantial morphological uniformity in lower taxa, especially at the level of genus or species. The configuration of integumental bristles is of fundamental importance in their taxonomy, as is wing venation. It displays a complete metamorphosis, or holometabolous development. The larvae are legless, and have head capsules with mandibulate mouthparts in the Nematocera. The larvae of "higher flies" (Brachycera) are however headless and wormlike, and display only three instars. Pupae are obtect in the Nematocera, or coarcate in Brachycera.

Diptera is an order of winged insects commonly known as flies. Diptera, which are one of the most successful groups of organisms on Earth, are very diverse biologically. None are truly marine but they occupy virtually every terrestrial niche. Many have co-evolved in association with plants and animals. The Diptera are a very significant group in the decomposition and degeneration of plant and animal matter, are instrumental in the breakdown and release of nutrients back into the soil, and whose larvae supplement the diet of higher agrarian organisms. They are also an important component in food chains.

The broad-headed flies is a subfamily of flies. Until 2010, they were known from only one species based on four specimens and placed in the family Eurychoromyiidae.

Cryptochetidae Family of flies

The Cryptochetidae are a small family of tiny flies. Some twenty to thirty species are known. Generally they are metallic blue black, stoutly built, with the head broad and high and with clear wings. Like other species in the superfamily Lonchaeoidea, the Cryptochetidae have antennae with a cleft in the second segment. Unlike practically all Schizophora however, they lack an arista, or if they do have one, it is too small to distinguish with any confidence. The family name refers to this unusual distinction; "Cryptochetidae" literally means "those with hidden bristles". The adult flies also are unusual among insects in that they have only a single pair of abdominal spiracles — this is not a serious physiological challenge in such small insects.

<i>Heterocheila</i> Genus of flies

Heterocheila is a genus of acalyptrate true flies (Diptera). They are placed in their own family, Heterocheilidae, in the superfamily Sciomyzoidea. They are not widely familiar outside entomological circles, but the common name "half-bridge flies" has been associated with them. They are medium-sized flies occurring mainly in temperate regions on seashores of the Northern Hemisphere, where they and their larvae typically feed on stranded kelp in the wrack zone. In this, they resemble kelp flies, which are members of a different family, though the same superfamily.


  1. Carl Robert Osten-Sacken (1858). Collected papers. pp. 1–.